BOSTON — Just 15 minutes before Game 6 in the Eastern Conference finals was tipped off at TD Garden was all seats filled and everyone who was ticketed was standing.
After 12 years of wait, this crowd and this city were finally ready to go to the NBA Finals. They will now have to wait for at least two more days.
A timeless classic performance by?, They saw their hopes of reaching the league's championship round disappear, and fell The To send the series back to Biscayne Bay for a seventh, and decisive game on Sunday night.
Celtics guard, “It is a tough one.”said.
This is an understatement.
Boston spent the days between Game 5 in Miami and Game 6 tipoff discussing the necessity to play this game as if it were Game 7. The Celtics instead came out and, as they did so many times in this series and these playoffs, carelessly turned over the ball time and again.
Boston gave Miami life, instead of allowing the crowd, who was desperate to be in this game, take over. It was a team looking for any reason to hope after Game 5's second half. But, Miami ignited quickly into a full-fledged fire, jumping out to a 29-22 advantage after each one, and holding the lead for the majority of the game.
With 4 minutes 43 seconds remaining, Boston jumped back into the lead on a White 3-pointer. White had 22 points off his bench and appeared to be heading into Celtics history. The Heat responded by going 17-6 to win the game and send the series back to Miami.
Ime Udoka, Celtics coach, said that Boston's slow start was “kind of indicative of how our nights in this series have been when we don't care for the ball.” “A lot of careless ones, without force, and that left us behind.
“We felt bad that we had made a poor decision throughout the game and we lost within striking range. Then they scored.
“[We] “I had opportunities, but I didn't seize them.”
Boston missed its chance, but Butler did more with his. A performance that reminded me a lot of the oneButler had played in the exact same building 10 years ago. He finished with 47 points and nine rebounds. Butler also had eight assists.
“He had it all rolling,”said. “Made a lot shots that, on camera, we'll be able to live with. I doubt he's ever made 4 3s in one playoff game. However, tonight he was out and aggressive.
“He played like he had his back against the wall. He had an amazing game and we had no answers for tonight. We have to do better… we will do better on Sunday.”
While Butler was torching the Celtics', Boston couldn’t get Brown or Both.Not going at all. Tatum had 30 points and Brown 20. Brown scored 18 in the first period.
The second saw them combine for 14 points with seven attempts on the ball — one in each quarter.
Tatum stated that he believed it was just the flow of how the game was progressing. “Obviously, I need to watch the film and other such things, but I think just being out there and feeling the game, drawing lots of attention, trying not to find mismatches, is what it is.
“It was just how the flow of play was going.”
Thanks to Butler's iconic performance, which was a great one, the game flow seemed to be against the Celtics for almost the whole time.While playing with a sore hamstring, he had 18 points, 10 assists and the Celtics failed to win.
They are now in a position to play a Game 7 on the road. Boston will then decide whether it will make it to the NBA Finals for first time in 12 year or if it will continue to think about the past.
Tatum was confident in his team despite Friday's defeat, and didn’t hesitate to answer questions about Boston’s potential win.
“Scale from 1 to 10?” Tatum smiled and asked. “Ten.
“I mean, it shouldn’t be any lower than that, right?” It's the last one. That's it. It's a 10/10 for my confidence and for the group.”
The Celtics said that this game should be treated like Game 7 for the sake of not being forced into a situation where they cannot do what they must. They discussed how Boston did exactly this against them.After being down 3-2, he won Game 6 on the Road. He then came home to take care of business in Game 7.
The Celtics will now spend two more days wondering if they missed this chance and have written a different ending than the team hoped.
“We won, clearly, the close-out match [against Milwaukee]Udoka explained that they have won two Miami Cups, which is a positive. “We know that we can go there to win.
“But we have to make it more difficult than it is. At times, it feels like that, not taking full advantage of what's before us, and just playing sloppy basketball on both sides. It's impossible to do that on the road.”